on three cups of tea with sugata mitra?

I haven’t posted here for ages, but I finally have some time to get back to blogging here.  I’ve been taking an online course, Assessment in Elearning from UW Stout, and I’d been blogging as part of my coursework so I just didn’t have the time or energy to blog here as well.  The course was actually really great and I recommend it heartily!

Anyway, now that the course is done, I’ve had some time to get back to messing about on my own.  I watched a Ted Talk by Sugata Mitra on his dream of building a school in the cloud that I found completely inspiring!  Sugata Mitra was actually awarded the Ted Prize and given $1 million dollars to help to make his vision into a reality.

Interestingly, though, with the attention, there has also been some post award criticism.  I find the interplay between what you see in the form of these wonderful and inspiring Ted Talks and the discourse that goes on online afterward to be fascinating and, really, a lot about what learning in a connected world is about.

Judge for yourself …

Sugata Mitra’s Ted Talk is here:

 

In the aftermath of his Ted Talk and winning the Ted Prize, Sugata Mitra’s work as come under some scrutiny and the issues raised and the discussion about both his work and the culture that has grown up around the Ted concept has made for interesting reading.  Hacking at Education: TED, Technology Entrepreneurship, Uncollege, and the Hole in the Wall by Audrey Waters and Sugata Mitra: Slum Chic? 7 Reasons for Doubt by Donald Clark both raise some interesting points of concern.

The controversy Watters and Clark raise feels very similar to my experience with Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea.  I loved and was inspired, as many were, by the book only to learn of some of the possible issues and controversies with time.

Am I overly desperate for inspiration?  If someone’s Ted Talk or book inspires me, does it matter that it might be based on faulty memories or exaggerations or some “iffy” research?  Is it too much to ask to once in a while just to be inspired and not find out the guy who inspired you took steroids in order to win?

Sigh …

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